Julian Yap

The Church of Market Share

Android’s market share lead over iOS, at least with regard to phones, has grown. But almost nothing has changed with regard to iOS’s wider and deeper support from developers. Market share is definitely something, but it’s not everything.

The problem with Android is that if you focus purely on metrics such as "activations" is that you lose sight over other long term metrics such as customer loyalty. Sometimes these other metrics are fuzzier and harder to measure.

Other side effects also crop up if you give carriers and OEMs too much control in an effort to chase activations. Stupid and "deceptive":http://daggle.com/4g-confusion-att-2930 things like carriers falsely labeling an Android phone as having 4G capabilities.

The end goal for Google is to monetize the Android platform through their primary source of income which is advertising. From Google's perspective it makes sense, right? More Android activations lead to more eyeballs and therefore more ad impressions and therefore more profit? Well, not quite...

It has been shown that the iOS platform has greater "engagement":http://julianyap.com/2011/12/13/developers-make-more-money-on-ios-compared-to-android.html which in turn leads to greater revenue. eBay VP of Mobile Steve Yankovich "recently stated":http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUYvbQnHZBk#t=46m20s that they 'Absolutely' see more iOS eBay buyers. Steve also states that one issue with Android apps is discoverability and that many users do not know how to install an app on Android.

My opinion is that users are slowly getting more educated with Android and its shortcomings. Early Android users are now shopping around for replacement phones as their contracts are up for renewal. With the price drop on the iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS the avenue for bargain shoppers has opened up. A "recent report":http://techcrunch.com/2012/01/09/ios-marketshare-up-from-26-in-q3-to-43-in-octnov-2011/ for NPD has shown that iOS sales share is up significantly from 26% in Q3 to 43% in October/November 2011 when the new pricing model was put in place.

Android seriously needs to reconsider the metrics they use and want to place an emphasis on moving forward.

9 JANUARY 2012 @ 03:20PM

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